latin: re = back, agere = to act
Reacting means behaving in a certain way in response to a stimulus, whether consciously or unconsciously. Every day we are bombarded with stimuli to which we react, mostly automatically, i.e. unconsciously. To react consciously to something means to become one's own observer. Becoming aware of these processes also plays an important role in artistic practice in music and movement.
Music and movement are arts of time, as every moment is a constant reaction to what is, what was before, and what will come, in composition as well as in improvisation. We ‘act back’ to what has already been, on the outside or inside of us.
To react consciously in improvisation in music and movement gives shape to improvisation and establishes relationships. We react to stimuli which we receive through the different sensory channels, often through visual, tactile and auditory impressions, we react to our own actions, feelings, to co-performers and their actions, or we consciously decide not to react, which is again a conscious reaction. Conscious reacting to stimuli can be direct, delayed, anticipatory or a conscious non-response. Within these four possibilities, my reacting can be repetitive, contrasting, varying, evolving, initiating, sequencing, shifting of levels, mirroring,... These possibilities and thoughts about reacting can help and inspire to create differentiated improvisation in music and movement.